The Bloodiest Dynasties in History

#11
These examples make me think of my old joke that "dynasty" comes from "die nasty", from the nasty types of deaths the dynasty members tend to die.

To me the worst slaying on that list are the killings of teenagers or children.

The only Constantinian victim that I know was a child was Lincinius II (c. 315-c. 326), who was killed aged about 10 or 11. Possibly some of the others I am not familiar with were kids.

Among the Julio-Claudians listed only Tiberius Gemellus, Britannicus, and the children of Sejanus were kids.

I'm sure some dynasties could do much better - i mean worse - in the killing dynastic kids category.

What about the Plantagenet dynasty?

1. Arthur I Duke of Brittany and rightful King of England (29 March 1187-1203?) who disappeared when imprisoned by his uncle John in April 1203.

2. Edmund Earl of Rutland (17 May 1443-30 December 1460), died at the battle of Wakefield aged 17 years, 7 months, and 13 days. Edmund might have died fighting or been captured and later killed by the Lancastrians. In any case he was a victim of the Wars of the Roses. His head was displayed over the gate of York with his father's head.

3. Edward of Westminster, Prince of Wales (13 October 1453- 4 May 1471), died at the Battle of Tewkesbury aged 17 years, 6 months & 21 days. He might have been killed fighting or been captured and later killed by the Yorkists.

4. King Edward V (2 November 1470-1483?) was King of England from 9 April to 25 June 1483. He and his brother Richard were seen less and less in public in the Tower of London and reportedly were not seen after the end of summer. Edward V would have turned thirteen on 2 November 1483 - if he was still alive.

5. Richard Duke of York and Norfolk (17 August 1473-1483?). The younger brother of deposed king Edward V, he was reportedly seen less and less often in public in the Tower of London and not seen after the end of summer 1483. Duke Richard would have turned ten on 17 August 1483 and eleven on 17 August 184 - if he was still alive.

If it counts to kill members of other royal dynasties the Plantagenets certainly killed a lot of other royalty.

One of the Welsh chronicles says that in about 1212 an official of King John hanged Maelgwyn ap Maelgwyn, a boy six years old. I think that Maelgwyn ap Maelgwyn would probably have been a son of Melgwyn ap Rees (d. 1231), a son of "The Lord Rhys", Rhys ap Gruffydd, Prince of South Wales (1132-1197), son of Gruffydd ap Rhys, King of Deheubarth (c. 1081-1137), descended from a long line of kings of Deheubarth.

King John forced Gwynedd to submit to him and give him hostages, and then instructed his officials to continue to advance into Gwynedd and take over more of it, bit by bit. Finally the people of Gwynedd struck back in 1212 against John's breaking of the peace terms. There is a story that when King John heard the news he rode to Nottingham Castle in a fury and ordered the hostages from Gwynedd hanged from the castles walls, 28 boys aged twelve to fourteen.

When it comes to killing people in general, not limited to members of the same dynasty, the Mongol dynasty may take the cake, killing tens of millions of people.
That's a lot of dead children. Yes, I imagine the Plantagenet Dynasty would rank 'highly' when it comes to intra-dynastic killing in general.
 
#12
The Ottomans are also a good candidate for the topic, these are the cases 61 cases listed from the book Osmanlı Devletinde Kardeş Katli (Fratricide in the Ottoman state) by Dr. Mehmet Akman:


Osman kills his uncle Dündar according to some semilegendary sources
Murad I kills his two brothers, Halil and Ibrahim beys
Murad I kills his son Savcı bey
Bayezid I kills his brother Yakub bey
Murad II kills his uncle (Düzme) Mustafa
Murad II kills his brother Mustafa
Mehmed II kills his brother Ahmed
Mehmed II kills prince Orhan
Bayezid II kills his nephew, (Cem's son) Oğuz Han
Selim I poisoning his father Bayezid II (according to some sources)
Selim I kills 8 of his nephews
Selim I kills his brothers Korkut and Ahmed
Kanuni Sultan Suleyman executes Cem's son Murad, and Murad's son
Suleyman kills his son Mustafa, and Mustafa's son Mehmed
Suleyman kills his son Bayezid, and Bayezid's 5 sons
Murad III kills 5 of his brothers
Mehmed III kills 19 brothers
Mehmed III kills his son Mahmud
Osman II kills his brother Mehmed
Murad IV kills 3 of his brothers Bayezid, Suleyman and Kasım
Osman III kills his cousin/nephew prince Mehmed


tables from the above mentioned book ( Mehmet Akman: Osmanlı Devletinde Kardeş Katli, p 39-42 about these 61 members killed inside the Ottoman dynasty:

the first table (1-16, also continues on the next image) lists those occassions who were not killed for rebellion (53 persons) View attachment 20844

Summary of the footnootes see below *


the second (1-7) shows those who were killed as punishment for the crime of rebellion (8 persons)

View attachment 20845

And it also includes a summary, father killed his son: 4 times, brother killed brother: 35, uncle killed nephew: 12, nephew killed uncle: 3, grandfather killed grandson: 6, and according to some account son killed father: once (if Selim I really poisoned his father Bayezid II)

And a 2 page table of all the murders:
legend
padişah=padishah/sultan, idam edilen=executed, tarih=date, yakınlığı=his closeness (kardeşi=his brother, amcası=his uncle, oğlu=his son, yeğeni=his nephew/cousin, the word yeğen is used for both the son of a sibling and for the son of an uncle/aunt, babası=his father, torunu=his grandson)

View attachment 20846 View attachment 20847

*footnotes of the first page:

Alderson in his book (The Structure of the Ottoman Dynasty) inludes 12 more cases without citing source and the author of this book couldn't confirm those in Ottoman sources. These 12 extra not included in the tables above:


Murad I killing his nephew Melik-i Nasır (1365),
Murad II, his rebelling son Alaaddin Ali and Alaaddin Ali's 2 sons (June 1443),
Bayezid II a nephew (son of Cem) called Eyüb (1484) and his 3 rebelling sons Mahmud (1507), Mehmed (March 1507) and Şahinşah (2 July 1511),
Selim I three of his rebell sons: Abdullah, Mahmud and Murad (20 November 1514),
Mehmed III his rebell son Selim (20 April 1597)


these are 2 nephews, 8 sons and 2 grandsons. if they are accurate and we include them, then the total is 73 murder within the family and the summary changes to: father killed his son: 12 times (10 times for rebellion), brother killed brother: 35 (4 for rebellion), uncle killed nephew: 14, nephew killed uncle: 3 (2 for rebellion), grandfather killed grandson: 8, and son killed father: 1
Thanks for relaying all these figures! These are fascinating statistics, especially the fact that fratricide dominates. It's disturbing that the vast majority of instances of intra-dynastic blood-letting were not provoked by rebellion (except in the cases of fathers killing sons and nephews killing uncles).
 
#14
Does dying in battle count for this? Or does it have to be premeditated murders?

A lot of Capetians died in battle throughout history but few were outright murdered (exceptions being Louis I, Duke of Orleans in 1407, John the Fearless in 1419, Louis de Bourbon, Bishop of Liege in 1482, and Charles Ferdinand, Duke of Berry in 1820).
I think death in battle against fellow Capetians counts.
 
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Maki

Ad Honorem
Jan 2017
2,869
Republika Srpska
#16
These are fascinating statistics, especially the fact that fratricide dominates.
Ottoman fratricide was something that was completely expected of a new sultan and it was even part of law from the time of Mehmed II:
"Fratricide, for nizām-i ‘ālem (the common benefit of the people or world order), is acceptable for any of my descendants who ascends the throne by God’s decree. The majority of the ‘ulemā permits the fratricide"
(A. Akgündüz, Osmanlı Kanunnameleri vol. 1, pg. 341)
 

Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
18,745
SoCal
#19
I'm specifically interested in intra-dynastic blood-letting. But do you ask because of the dynastic links between the Capetians and the English royal families? Yes, I suppose many of these European royal houses were on some level engaged in intra-dynastic struggles.
I'm not only talking about the English here; rather, the Capetians also fought with other royal houses. Also, Yes, there was shared ancestry between the Capetians and various other European royal houses.
 

MAGolding

Ad Honorem
Aug 2015
2,808
Chalfont, Pennsylvania
#20
Ottoman fratricide was something that was completely expected of a new sultan and it was even part of law from the time of Mehmed II:
"Fratricide, for nizām-i ‘ālem (the common benefit of the people or world order), is acceptable for any of my descendants who ascends the throne by God’s decree. The majority of the ‘ulemā permits the fratricide"
(A. Akgündüz, Osmanlı Kanunnameleri vol. 1, pg. 341)
Here is a link to a scholarly discussion:


http://www.ttk.gov.tr/Dergiler/Belleten/295-Belleten/08-EBEkinci.pdf
 
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